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Star Wars Culture as a Pop Culture Phenomenon

Star Wars Culture as a Pop Culture Phenomenon

By Jason Chin (BMCC)

The Star Wars universe has definitely expanded beyond the film industry. It has reached out to all the industries in the field of entertainment and turned itself into a culture. Jenkins (2015) also adds that it has had a huge impact on both the film industry and pop culture over the years. According to Storey (2001), the first definition of culture refers to the measurable amount of those in the participating in that particular culture that defines the culture as “popular”. In other words, that popular culture has to be prominent as well as populous.

The general ideology of Star Wars is not hard to understand as many of the fans would have guessed that it was about the fight between good and evil. However the ideology behind this science fiction opera can be more complex than what one may think as Storey (2001) states that ideology is the most critical idea behind the study of popular culture. According to Star Wars (2012), it’s prequel trilogy focused more on highlighting the political struggle between both political parties until democracy was torn apart as the New Empire took over. In the original trilogy however, we see the Rebel Alliance fighting to restore democracy and peace.

Storey (2001) also reveals that ideology itself has many competing meanings. Henceforth, by referring back to Star Wars, we also see the struggle between the “light side of the force” and the “dark side of the force”. Both of these struggles portray a battle between good and evil however, we still do not see any resolve to this matter yet. That is until we shift our focus to the main character of the series, otherwise known Anakin Skywalker, who is supposedly meant to bring “balance to the force”. By looking through the entire six films in the franchise, we can see that the character has been struggling with internal conflicts with himself. He has been given the roles of an antagonist and the protagonist throughout the story and at the very end of the sixth film, he decides to stop being a villain and becomes a hero again. At the end of the sixth film, we assume that good has won the battle however, the most recent Star Wars “The Force Awakens” film continues to show the struggle between good and evil again with the antagonist being someone who used to be “good”.

It is safe to say that Star Wars’ ideology is meant to be something that everyone can relate to. There are always of political parties that are corrupt and there is always the opposing political party fighting for democracy. Some people give in to their temptations and some choose not to. People are always going have conflicts, be it external or internal.

To conclude this, the ideology of Star Wars definitely reels in the fans and develops the very culture of Star Wars in terms of fandom and film. Storey (2001) also adds that ideologies can be referred to an arrangement of ideas that were initially said coherently by a particular group of people, or in this case, the Star Wars fans. Storey (2001) further implies that ideology can also be used to present information as a distorted form of reality. This can create a cultural identity for the Star Wars fans as well as allowing them to expand their thoughts and imaginations.

References

Jenkins (2015). What We Talk About When We Talk About Star Wars. [online]. http://henryjenkins.org/2015/12/what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-star-wars.html [Accessed: 20th February 2016]

Star Wars (2012). Corruption, Exploitation, and Decay: The Politics of Star Wars. [online]. http://www.starwars.com/news/corruption-exploitation-and-decay-the-politics-of-star-wars [Accessed: 20th February 2016]

Star

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Wars (2014). From World War To Star Wars: Rise Of An Empire. [online]. http://www.starwars.com/news/from-world-war-to-star-wars-rise-of-an-empire [Accessed: 20th February 2016]

Star Wars (2015). Fully Operational Fandom: Star Wars References In Pop Culture. [online]. http://www.starwars.com/news/fully-operational-fandom-star-wars-references-in-pop-culture [Accessed: 20th February 2016]

Storey, John. Cultural Theory And Popular Culture. Harlow, England: Pearson, 2012. Print.

Holly (2015) What you can expect from Star Wars in 2015. [online]. http://geektrum.com/what-you-can-expect-from-star-wars-in-2015/ [Accessed: 20th February 2016]

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